Vajrapani and Manjushri mantra without empowerment

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sambhava
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Vajrapani and Manjushri mantra without empowerment

Post by sambhava »

Is it okay to practice the DELETED mantra without empowerment?

And if it is not okay, what could be the consequences of practicing such?

I also heard that the Manjushri mantra (DELETED) can be practiced without empowerment. Is that true?

Thanks for the advice!

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FiveSkandhas
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Re: Vajrapani and Manjushri mantra without empowerment

Post by FiveSkandhas »

This will very much depend on who you ask.

The Chinese take a very relaxed attitude toward mantra recitation. To quote one site:
Those who have contact with Tibetan Tantrism may have some concern about receiving “transmission” of a mantra from a “highly realized” lama, vested with the authority of a certain lineage. This has never been a problem in the Mahāyāna tradition. First, the Buddha has always instructed us to do our best to disseminate His teachings, including the mantras. Second, the aspiration to recite a mantra arises from one’s own Buddha mind, one’s root lama. Can one find a lama higher than the Buddha or one’s own Buddha mind? Given the mantra texts, one can feel authorized to enjoy mantra recitation with a peaceful and grateful mind...
Source:
http://www.sutrasmantras.info/mantra0.html

Naturally others will have other opinions.

It is also worth noting that the above quote specifically references Mahayana. Are there differences between Mahayana and Vajrayana mantras? I am not sure.

I once had a conversation with a Japanese Shingon (Japanese Vajrayana) priest who claimed that in his tradition, no special transmission was necessary to chant mantras, but that it was necessary to receive transmission in order to form mudras.

As to the Tibetan perspective(s) I will leave the question to more capable hands.
"One should cultivate contemplation in one’s foibles. The foibles are like fish, and contemplation is like fishing hooks. If there are no fish, then the fishing hooks have no use. The bigger the fish is, the better the result we will get. As long as the fishing hooks keep at it, all foibles will eventually be contained and controlled at will." -Zhiyi
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Aryjna
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Re: Vajrapani and Manjushri mantra without empowerment

Post by Aryjna »

FiveSkandhas wrote: Thu Oct 29, 2020 9:29 am This will very much depend on who you ask.

The Chinese take a very relaxed attitude toward mantra recitation. To quote one site:
Those who have contact with Tibetan Tantrism may have some concern about receiving “transmission” of a mantra from a “highly realized” lama, vested with the authority of a certain lineage. This has never been a problem in the Mahāyāna tradition. First, the Buddha has always instructed us to do our best to disseminate His teachings, including the mantras. Second, the aspiration to recite a mantra arises from one’s own Buddha mind, one’s root lama. Can one find a lama higher than the Buddha or one’s own Buddha mind? Given the mantra texts, one can feel authorized to enjoy mantra recitation with a peaceful and grateful mind...
Source:
http://www.sutrasmantras.info/mantra0.html

Naturally others will have other opinions.
Yes, the buddhas have other opinions, as they explain in the tantras. Of course, mantras/dharanis found in sutras do not require transmission, but that quote seems to be generic, not specifically regarding sutra.
PeterC
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Re: Vajrapani and Manjushri mantra without empowerment

Post by PeterC »

FiveSkandhas wrote: Thu Oct 29, 2020 9:29 am This will very much depend on who you ask.

The Chinese take a very relaxed attitude toward mantra recitation. To quote one site:
Those who have contact with Tibetan Tantrism may have some concern about receiving “transmission” of a mantra from a “highly realized” lama, vested with the authority of a certain lineage. This has never been a problem in the Mahāyāna tradition. First, the Buddha has always instructed us to do our best to disseminate His teachings, including the mantras. Second, the aspiration to recite a mantra arises from one’s own Buddha mind, one’s root lama. Can one find a lama higher than the Buddha or one’s own Buddha mind? Given the mantra texts, one can feel authorized to enjoy mantra recitation with a peaceful and grateful mind...
Source:
http://www.sutrasmantras.info/mantra0.html

Naturally others will have other opinions.

It is also worth noting that the above quote specifically references Mahayana. Are there differences between Mahayana and Vajrayana mantras? I am not sure.

I once had a conversation with a Japanese Shingon (Japanese Vajrayana) priest who claimed that in his tradition, no special transmission was necessary to chant mantras, but that it was necessary to receive transmission in order to form mudras.

As to the Tibetan perspective(s) I will leave the question to more capable hands.
You need to distinguish between mantras and dharanis. A lot of what is chanted by chinese mahayana practitioners are dharanis. Vajrayana is mahayana, though mahayana is not necessarily vajrayana.

In Shingon you receive empowerment, enter the mandala, etc. before engaging in tantric practices.

At the end of the day, this is very simple. If you want to do a specific common practice there are hundreds of lamas who will give you the transmission, either in person or these days, online. If you can't find someone to give you the transmission for a mainstream practice, you're really not trying. If you really want to do a practice, you should be willing to put some effort into receiving it. If you want to do practice on your own without empowerment or reading transmission, there are Tara and Medicine Buddha practices that can be done on that basis (though not all Tara and Sangye Menla practices can be done on that basis), they are also not hard to find. But there's no entry into the vajrayana without empowerment.
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FiveSkandhas
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Re: Vajrapani and Manjushri mantra without empowerment

Post by FiveSkandhas »

I don't know if this source is considered reputable or not, but it does state:
Despite his power, Vajrapani is a Bodhisattva and has a peaceful aspect that anyone may appreciate, meditate on or practice. The mantra is a recommended daily chant, with or without any empowerment.
Source:
[Modnote: Sorry, questionable source deleted.]

Please don't shoot the messenger (me) if you dislike this perspective. I am just tossing it out there.
:namaste:
"One should cultivate contemplation in one’s foibles. The foibles are like fish, and contemplation is like fishing hooks. If there are no fish, then the fishing hooks have no use. The bigger the fish is, the better the result we will get. As long as the fishing hooks keep at it, all foibles will eventually be contained and controlled at will." -Zhiyi
javier.espinoza.t
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Re: Vajrapani and Manjushri mantra without empowerment

Post by javier.espinoza.t »

sambhava wrote: Thu Oct 29, 2020 8:13 am Is it okay to practice the DELETED mantra without empowerment?

And if it is not okay, what could be the consequences of practicing such?

I also heard that the Manjushri mantra (DELETED) can be practiced without empowerment. Is that true?

Thanks for the advice!
recitation doesn't work without transmission of sound, it doesn't have strenght, capability to produce effect.

consequences vary.
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Aryjna
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Re: Vajrapani and Manjushri mantra without empowerment

Post by Aryjna »

FiveSkandhas wrote: Thu Oct 29, 2020 12:18 pm I don't know if this source is considered reputable or not, but it does state:
Despite his power, Vajrapani is a Bodhisattva and has a peaceful aspect that anyone may appreciate, meditate on or practice. The mantra is a recommended daily chant, with or without any empowerment.
Source:
[Modnote: Sorry, questionable source deleted.]

Please don't shoot the messenger (me) if you dislike this perspective. I am just tossing it out there.
:namaste:
It is not a matter of dislike, or a personal attack to you, but of not allowing wrong information to remain unchallenged.

Relying on random posts written by people who have no idea what they are talking about (the person who wrote the article you are quoting here) is not a good idea in any topic, dharma or otherwise.
Furthermore, the website you are quoting here apparently is run by a dolgyal worshipper (Zasep Tulku).

Various Buddhas/deities are considered differently in sutra and in tantra, also what matters most when it comes to necessity for transmission, is usually the source of the mantra in question.
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FiveSkandhas
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Re: Vajrapani and Manjushri mantra without empowerment

Post by FiveSkandhas »

Aryjna wrote: Thu Oct 29, 2020 12:33 pm
Furthermore, the website you are quoting here apparently is run by...
OK, so the site is not reputable. Thank you for clearing that up. I can't keep on top of all the sites run by "those of whom we do not speak", which seem to proliferate rapidly. Your discernment is appreciated.
"One should cultivate contemplation in one’s foibles. The foibles are like fish, and contemplation is like fishing hooks. If there are no fish, then the fishing hooks have no use. The bigger the fish is, the better the result we will get. As long as the fishing hooks keep at it, all foibles will eventually be contained and controlled at will." -Zhiyi
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Aryjna
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Re: Vajrapani and Manjushri mantra without empowerment

Post by Aryjna »

FiveSkandhas wrote: Thu Oct 29, 2020 2:09 pm
Aryjna wrote: Thu Oct 29, 2020 12:33 pm
Furthermore, the website you are quoting here apparently is run by...
OK, so the site is not reputable. Thank you for clearing that up. I can't keep on top of all the sites run by "those of whom we do not speak", which seem to proliferate rapidly. Your discernment is appreciated.
I am speaking generally, not about the two particular mantras mentioned by the OP though. I'm not sure if they require transmission or not.
javier.espinoza.t
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Re: Vajrapani and Manjushri mantra without empowerment

Post by javier.espinoza.t »

Aryjna wrote: Thu Oct 29, 2020 2:26 pm
FiveSkandhas wrote: Thu Oct 29, 2020 2:09 pm
Aryjna wrote: Thu Oct 29, 2020 12:33 pm
Furthermore, the website you are quoting here apparently is run by...
OK, so the site is not reputable. Thank you for clearing that up. I can't keep on top of all the sites run by "those of whom we do not speak", which seem to proliferate rapidly. Your discernment is appreciated.
I am speaking generally, not about the two particular mantras mentioned by the OP though. I'm not sure if they require transmission or not.
they require transmission and instructions so you can and know what to do with them. in my opinion, people who say that one doesn't ned this two for practicing are just destroying them and the possibility for other to engage perfectly in the path. just an opinion.
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Re: Vajrapani and Manjushri mantra without empowerment

Post by pemachophel »

To me, the question is not whether you may say a mantra without transmission but rather how well it will work. Even without transmission, it will still create a karmic link with that mantra and it's associated Deity. If you really want to get the best results from these two mantra, try to get the transmission, either live (best) or via electronic means in live time. Also, it's important to get some instruction on what you're supposed to be doing when saying the mantra. The mantra will have some effect even without knowing anything, but the effect goes up and up the more instruction you get and the more you apply those instructions.

Good luck & best wishes.
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ
Charlie123
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Re: Vajrapani and Manjushri mantra without empowerment

Post by Charlie123 »

The mantra of Manjushri is something that is found in the sutras. It is my understanding that sutra-based mantras such as those of Chenrezig, Tara, Medicine Buddha, Prajnaparamita and Shakyamuni are fine to recite without transmission.

I am pretty sure that the Vajrapani mantra is something that requires transmission.

But also, if you are a beginner and have not found a teacher, studying abhidharma and the sutras might be a better use of your time.
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FiveSkandhas
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Re: Vajrapani and Manjushri mantra without empowerment

Post by FiveSkandhas »

Charlie123 wrote: Thu Oct 29, 2020 5:14 pm
But also, if you are a beginner and have not found a teacher, studying abhidharma and the sutras might be a better use of your time.
:good:

I have long wished for about a decade I could give over totally to immersion in abhidharma. There has been some excellent Mahayana scholarship in this area down through the ages and too many of our Mahayana brethren seem willing to write it off as a "hinyana relic."

My problem with abhidharma was that I started with secondary scholarship on Vasabandhu and quickly fell down the Yogacara hole...not that I have any complaints about my time studying Yogacara, but personally I think abhidharma on its own deserves more time and effort than I have been willing/able to give it. I also think it is linguistically demanding (i.e., Sanskrit terminology if not grammar command) Anyone have a spare decade to lend me?
"One should cultivate contemplation in one’s foibles. The foibles are like fish, and contemplation is like fishing hooks. If there are no fish, then the fishing hooks have no use. The bigger the fish is, the better the result we will get. As long as the fishing hooks keep at it, all foibles will eventually be contained and controlled at will." -Zhiyi
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Re: Vajrapani and Manjushri mantra without empowerment

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

The basic answer for non-Tibetans is yes as far as I know, both require empowerment. It appears to me to be different for people who grow up in Tibetan culture. I once had a Tibetan recommend Manjushri mantra to help my kids in school.

The basic thing is that you shouldn’t just pull mantras off the internet and practice them I think. At the very least you would verify what you can practice with a teacher you trust.

I have seen Lamas tell people they could practice a mantra without empowerment, usually until they could receive empowerment. These are people in contact with Lamas actually asking the question though.

Among other things this is an issue of respect. If you want to practice these things you make contact with a lineage and do your best to get the teachings. A YouTube video etc. is not adequate.

In my experience, Green Tara and Chenrezig mantras are the only ones which are pretty much universally unrestricted. It will -still- be much more worth your time to seek out empowerment/teachings on those though.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low
Charlie123
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Re: Vajrapani and Manjushri mantra without empowerment

Post by Charlie123 »

Some time ago, Acarya Malcolm posted a list of mantras that come from the sutras and can be recited without transmission. Here is the list he provided:

Om mani padme hum -- Avalokiteshavara
Om tāre tuttāre ture svāhā -- Tārā
Om a ra pa cha na dhiḥ -- Manjushri
Om muni muni mahāmuni śākyamuni svāhā -- Buddha
Tadyatha gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svāhā -- Prajñāparamita.
Tadyatha om bhaisajya bhaisajya mahābhaisajya rājā samudgate svāhā -- Medicien Buddha

You can easily find the original post.
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Re: Vajrapani and Manjushri mantra without empowerment

Post by amanitamusc »

FiveSkandhas wrote: Thu Oct 29, 2020 5:49 pm
Charlie123 wrote: Thu Oct 29, 2020 5:14 pm
But also, if you are a beginner and have not found a teacher, studying abhidharma and the sutras might be a better use of your time.
:good:

I have long wished for about a decade I could give over totally to immersion in abhidharma. There has been some excellent Mahayana scholarship in this area down through the ages and too many of our Mahayana brethren seem willing to write it off as a "hinyana relic."

My problem with abhidharma was that I started with secondary scholarship on Vasabandhu and quickly fell down the Yogacara hole...not that I have any complaints about my time studying Yogacara, but personally I think abhidharma on its own deserves more time and effort than I have been willing/able to give it. I also think it is linguistically demanding (i.e., Sanskrit terminology if not grammar command) Anyone have a spare decade to lend me?
You might also try Mipham Rinpoche "Gateway to Knowledge vol,1-4 It is very concise.
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Re: Vajrapani and Manjushri mantra without empowerment

Post by YesheD. »

Even if these mantras can be recited without empowerment, it begs the question.
Why at this time when the Dharma is freely available due to the privations suffered by the Tibetans in the diaspora, would anyone choose to go it alone?🤔
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FiveSkandhas
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Re: Vajrapani and Manjushri mantra without empowerment

Post by FiveSkandhas »

YesheD. wrote: Thu Oct 29, 2020 8:40 pm Even if these mantras can be recited without empowerment, it begs the question.
Why at this time when the Dharma is freely available due to the privations suffered by the Tibetans in the diaspora, would anyone choose to go it alone?🤔
It can be hard to make a connection with a valid Guru who accepts you and who you can entrust yourself to fully. The Internet is changing this rapidly but some people still have questions and doubts about net-mediated practice and relationships.

Some people live in isolated areas, or areas without much Tibetan Buddhist presence. I live in a large East Asian city yet the opportunities for actual training in the Tibetan mode are extremely limited. I have always been fascinated by Tibetan Buddhism but have remained in practice a rather simplistic Mahayanist because I have only rarely come into contact with valid Tibetan-tradition teachers, among other reasons.

Heck, it took me nearly 30 years to find my current Mahayana teacher in the sense of somebody who really resonates with me as a "heart teacher."

In Vajrayana where the Guru relationship is so central, it strikes me as even more imperative to be absolutely sure you are practicing in the right context with the right system and Guru for you.
"One should cultivate contemplation in one’s foibles. The foibles are like fish, and contemplation is like fishing hooks. If there are no fish, then the fishing hooks have no use. The bigger the fish is, the better the result we will get. As long as the fishing hooks keep at it, all foibles will eventually be contained and controlled at will." -Zhiyi
YesheD.
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Re: Vajrapani and Manjushri mantra without empowerment

Post by YesheD. »

I take your point about meeting a teacher while living in a large city that is not on the usual circuits...which in these Covid times is an even bigger challenge. I would however recommend jumping in if a prospective teacher is of a valid lineage. Obviously that means avoiding teachers who present within irregular set ups...dolgyal followers etc. But if the lineage is bone fide I would consider getting the empowerments. After all the teacher is unlikely to become a personal friend.
They are there to do a job. The relationship is likely to be of a practical kind.
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Ayu
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Re: Vajrapani and Manjushri mantra without empowerment

Post by Ayu »

While the OP's question seems to be answered, this topic still attracts too many probably bad advices.
I'd like to keep it locked for now.
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:
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